|Larry / Ted
|Released by RKO | Directed by George Archainbaud
Run time: 72 minutes
Shooting Straight: A Direct Shot
“He doesn’t like to be referred to as a racketeer.”
Shooting Straight is a fairly inoffensive, cute little movie. It’s kind of clunky and a little obvious, but it has Richard Dix glowering and wormy Matthew Betz dueling for the heart of a pretty woman, and it’s a fun little trifle in that way.
Dix’s Larry Sheldon is a big time racketeer in the East, great with the dice and able to inflict terror in his opponents. After he revenge murders one of his rivals, a train accident sets him up with a new identity as a crusading parson in a small upstate town. He falls for Doris, daughter of the local minister, and soon finds himself entangled in the town’s seedy gambling den versus scenery-chewing Ace Martin who is taking the town for all it’s worth.
The movie is predictable, and the direction nothing special. Richard Dix, who is always a charming ruffian, gets a nice role here to show off both his sweetness and his brusque charm. The film has a few action sequences, including a model train crash and a final brawl whose undercranking and static movement bridges that gap between the silents and the talkies once more.
Overall, there really isn’t a whole lot to say about the film, other than it’s a decent, if unremarkable watch. If you need more Dix in your life, it’s worth seeking out.
Click to enlarge. All of my images are taken by me– please feel free to reuse with due credit!
Trivia & Links
- A thread over on NitrateVille talks about the obscure life of star Mary Lawlor.
- Always worth revisiting is Immortal Ephemera‘s great Richard Dix biography.
Awards, Accolades & Availability
- This film is an obscure one– it recently played on TCM. I wish you luck in finding it!
Patricia Nolan-Hall (@CaftanWoman) · August 5, 2016 at 5:11 am
I always need more of the charming ruffian Richard Dix in my life, so this goes on that ol’ list.
Mike Smith · August 5, 2016 at 5:20 am
Is this the same Richard Dix referenced in Blazing Saddles?
Clate · October 22, 2017 at 8:14 pm
Four of Richard Dix’s first five talkies were comedies, the other being a military drama. Interesting that, with this film, his sixth talkie, comedy is not something that he would revisit much. Ahh, those “tough” 1930’s. Perhaps also a re-branding of Mr. Dix for talkies. Nice film, Saw it back in 1991 on AMC and re-visited it again recently, and it holds up well!
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